Wednesday 20 November 2019

New owner to dismantle Gilligan's Jessbrook

The entrance to the Equestrian Centre
The entrance to the Equestrian Centre
Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

The Jessbrook equestrian centre built by druglord John Gilligan is to be dismantled after the current owner encountered planning difficulties since he bought it.

James Buckley transformed the Co Kildare centre, which had been lying idle for years since it was seized from Gilligan by the Criminal Assets Bureau, but this year decided to sell it having only owned it since May 2014.

However, despite a lot of interest in the newly named Emerald International Equestrian Centre, set on approximately 56 acres in Mucklon near Enfield, he could not sell it as a going concern due to outstanding planning issues with Kildare County Council. Now he is set to dismantle the state-of-the art complex and sell it on.

His plan is then to return the site to agricultural land and either sell it on or hold onto it.

"We have had several enquiries from outside Ireland since the property was put on the market from individuals wanting to buy the building alone," said Buckley.

"The size of the 3,000-seat indoor arena, at 60,000 square foot, with a 70 metre-wide open span and at 120 metres long makes it an incredibly valuable building for a variety of uses. Large buildings like this are taken down and transported to new locations all the time, and that is now what will happen to Emerald," he added.

"I am disappointed that Ireland now looks set to lose what is probably the largest indoor jumping arena in Europe. I love the sport and this was never my intention when I bought it ... but I am left with no choice," he said.

Irish Independent

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